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story.lead_photo.caption Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. - Photo by AP/J. Scott Applewhite

— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted Wednesday that the department is moving swiftly and aggressively to strengthen security at U.S. missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid on the consulate in Libya.

Clinton Spars With Senator on Benghazi

An exasperated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked Sen. Ron Johnson "what difference does it make" when he pressed her on initial administration claims that protests, and not terrorism, led the four Americans being killed in Libya.
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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton tells Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, that she is committed to improving security at U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide after the Sept. 11, 2012, raid on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya.

Clinton on Benghazi: Top security commitment

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In probably her last appearance on Capitol Hill as America’s top diplomat, Clinton once again took full responsibility for the department’s missteps leading up to assault at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Her voice cracking at times, Clinton said the experience was highly personal.

“I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters,” she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a jam-packed hearing.

Her voice rising at another point, she defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who was vilified for widely debunked claims five days after the attack that protests precipitated the raid rather than terrorism. She challenged the GOP focus on Rice’s comments, which were based on intelligence talking points.

“What difference does it make?” a clearly exasperated Clinton told Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., after he pressed her. She insisted that “people were trying in real time to get to the best information,” and that her focus was on looking ahead on how to improve security rather than revisiting the talking points and Rice’s television appearance.

Clinton said the department is implementing the 29 recommendations of an independent review board that harshly criticized the department as well as going above and beyond the proposals, with a special focus on high-threat posts.

The review board report faulted “systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department” and four employees were put on administrative leave.

“Nobody is more committed to getting this right,” she said. “I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure.”

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

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    January 23, 2013 at 8:33 a.m.

    This will sink her chances of running for POTUS later for sure... They need to make sure they don't stop with just her.

  • Jackabbott
    January 23, 2013 at 8:40 a.m.

    She made a serious misjudgement on this situation. For one reason or another(perhaps her boss), she failled to make any progress in her tenure as Secretary of State. The situations in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and the Isreal/Palestine have not changed at all. Even a minor situation like Cuba has not been resolved. There was a lot of talk and travel but nothing positive for the USA. You might give her credit for being a cut above the joke job that Bush and his people did but that is not saying much at all.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    January 23, 2013 at 9:42 p.m.

    Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the State Department's budget, said the House deleted from the Senate's version of the Superstorm Sandy emergency relief bill an amendment he wrote at the state department's request to shift up to $1 billion originally intended for U.S. operations in Iraq to be used for improving U.S. security at diplomatic outposts.
    Today only made her case for POTUS stronger for 2016.
    Tell me NONSHEEPLE AND JACKABBOTT why would republicans do this?

  • Guzzler
    January 24, 2013 at 6:13 a.m.

    Stupid hillbilly, just like her so-called husband, just a family of liars